By now I'm sure you've heard that the Stateline area is about to get hit by some wicked winter weather and driving conditions...just in time for Christmas.

In case you need a recap of the mess that's's what WIFR's Chief Meteorologist Mark Henderson is predicting...

We all wished for a white Christmas, so I guess we're gonna get it. We better start preparing for it now, so our celebrations and travels aren't completely ruined.

How to Prepare For a Major Winter Storm

Here are some important things to do before a major winter storm in Illinois according to the American Red Cross :

1. Stock up on supplies: Make sure you have enough food, bottled water, and other supplies to last for several days, including foods that don't need to be refrigerated or cooked in case the power goes out. It's also a good idea to have flashlights, batteries, and a portable phone charger in case of a power outage.

2. Prepare your home: Check the weather stripping and insulation around doors and windows to make sure they are in good condition. This will help keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Check to make sure the pipes located near exterior walls are insulated so they don't freeze. If you have a fireplace, make sure you have enough wood and that it's safe to use, aka, the chimney is free of debris and not clogged.

3. Have a plan for pets and livestock: If you have pets or livestock, make sure you have a plan in place for how you will care for them during the storm. This may include having extra food and water on hand, as well as a safe and warm place for them to stay. If you have pets that typically spend a lot of their day outside, but are able to come into your home, PLEASE bring them inside!

Finally, if staying home this Christmas is something you will NOT do, make sure you have a full tank of gas and an emergency kit in your car. This kit should include blankets, non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.

Dress warm, stay safe, and have a very Merry Christmas...despite Mother Nature's wickedness!

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

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